2019: When Supreme Court shut the Rafale controversy

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Dec 14: It was probably one of the most important defence deals and an extremely crucial one for the Indian Air Force.

In December 2018, the Supreme Court had rejected petitions that sought a court-monitored probe into the purchase of Rafale jets. The issue was debated in Parliament and after the SC rejected the petitions, a review petition was filed, which was heard in open court.

While rejecting the review petitions in the Rafale case, the Supreme Court said that on eat perusal of documents, it had found that one cannot compare apples and oranges.

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The Bench made it clear that it was not for the court to determine the price at which the jets should have been bought. It expressed confidence and said that the Government's internal mechanism would take care of the situation.

On the perusal of documents, we had found that one cannot compare apples and oranges.

Thus the providing of the basic aircraft had to be compared which was competitively marginally lower. As to what needs to be loaded on the aircraft or not and what further pricing should be added has to be left to be the best judgment of the competent authorities, the Bench said.

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The court also noted that it would well nigh become impossible for different opinions to be set out in the record if each opinion was to be construed as to be complied with before the contract was entered into. It would defeat the purpose of the debate in the decision-making process, the court said.

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